Clarryhoo (nomorefrostbite) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Oscar Isaac (and Sam Gold) on Hamlet, Grief, and Politics

{On Working on the Play Together}
-Oscar and Sam Gold did all the Hamlet and Rosencrantz & Guildenstern scenes together whilst at Julliard, as part of Sam Gold’s directing course – he asked Oscar to do it in his spare time whilst actor training.
-Almost a 15 year process to get it to come together.
-Sam Gold calls Hamlet the "most frustrating play in the world to direct."
-Sam Gold on Oscar’s command of Hamlet: "it’s a kind of magic trick where he knows the play inside and out, and knows what each word means, and how to use each word so well that he can do it as if it’s contemporary conversation, it’s so clear in his mind."
-He thinks it’s important to still use rhetoric and verse, but to make it contemporary and understandable for a modern audience who aren’t as used to it.
-Oscar didn’t watch other Hamlets in preparation, but liked to listen to John Gielgud’s recording like music.
-Oscar calls Hamlet "a very muscular show", at 4 hours it’s physically and vocally very demanding.

{On Hamlet, the Play}
-Of Hamlet the play, Oscar says: "it’s a hall of mirrors, you start to look and it just reflects itself. It has the ambiguity of religious text, where a line is crafted in such a way that it feels like it has infinite meaning."
-Oscar on whether Hamlet is driven mad by the death of his father: "not necessarily. I think madness, for me understanding it through the lens of grief became so much more relatable, because grief feels like a form of madness, it feels like it can easily... it’s such a shock, and such a trauma to lose someone you love so much, that on the other side of that it’s a whole new existence, and I think many people that have had to deal with that can feel how easily their mind can get away from them and change, and you see the world differently, and a lot of pretence falls away."

{On Hamlet & Current Politics}
-Oscar talks making it relatable, and reflecting it to the audience on how man is in this moment at this time, and stripping away artifice.
-Asked about whether the audience makes a connection with the political time we live in: "man is a political animal right [...] just yesterday, in the middle of ‘to be or not to be’, when I start to say ‘who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor’s wrong, the law’s delay, the insolence of office’, and I looked at the audience and they all erupted clapping, because the thoughts of what was happening right now, particularly with what was happening in Charlottesville and the President’s terrible response to that, you know people were upset and angry, and we were all in this room together and the way we staged it is one that we’re not pretending that we’re anywhere else, we’re just talking here – and there was an immediate feedback."

{On Oscar's Mum, Grief, and His Personal Stakes}
-Much content as discussed in Oscar's last interview, from this previous ONTD post.
-Oscar's mum's favourite thing was to see Oscar do Shakespeare, and at home and then the hospital he would read Hamlet to her, and almost did the entire play for her; the meditative content on grief, death and letting go was very comforting for both Oscar and his mum during her declining health.
-Oscar’s mum passed in February from pancreatic cancer – she didn’t want a funeral or anything like that, so as a family they had their own "little thing to say goodbye".
-When Oscar’s sister came to see the play, she felt like this was the version of a funeral their mum would have wanted, to have the space to grieve and tell the story about losing someone you love so much.
-Oscar talks so many things happening in a condensed period of time for him, and how that impacted his playing Hamlet: "the passing of my mother, getting married, the birth of my son, that it’s almost like my personal stakes in doing Hamlet and the play lowered – it didn’t mean everything to me, it felt more like release than something that needed to be proved, or something I needed to prove."

Source: Oscar on Charlie Rose

Have you been/are you going to see Oscar in Hamlet, ONTD Oscar stans?
And congratulations to Oscar and Elvira Lind on confirmation of their lowkey wedding!

 photo oscarlolsontd_zpsvj5r2aze.gif
Tags: broadway / theatre, marriage, oscar isaac

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